Since one almost always expects a bottle of Burgundy to deliver something magical, one is often let down.  For every time we find that magic there are countless other times that Burgundy comes up short.  It’s all about expectation, and managing it.  That’s why I like Beaujolais, specifically Cru Beaujolais; expectations are easy to manage with Cru Beaujolais.  No one ever expects too much, and what you usually get is something which can be magical for it’s ability to surprise with apparent simplicity, and perhaps a bit more too, and then some.

My challenge would be to buy a bottle of Marcel Lapierre, Jean Foillard, Jean-Paul Thévenet, Jean Paul Brun, Pierre-Marie Chermette, J. Chamonard, Jean Claude Lapalu, or Clos de la Roilette.  You will be out about $40 or less (5 out of 6 of the wines I tasted were under $30 in fact), but you will be getting the best of the best.  If Cru Beaujolais is not something that is on your radar, then you are missing one of the greatest pleasures in the world of wine.  In a nutshell, the Cru Beaujolais I tried here were all fresh, distinct, and delicious.  I can’t say that there was even a hint of criticism to offer.  Cru Beaujolais may be the most satisfying genre in the wine game today.

J. Chamonard 2009 Morgon ~$24.00

Takes a minute to open, but then is fairly expressive and pretty.  With nice spiced red fruits, meets lavender and violets with some purple undertones, and hint of minty herbs and a great stoney fruit note.  There is a rich silky note which emerges which just hints at decadence, but it’s only a tease in the end – it’s there and then it’s gone.  Decent acidity and moderate tannins.  It can hold a bit, maybe 5 years or so, but it’s jamming now, so why not, it’s a win/win.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Jean Claude Lapalu 2010 Brouilly ~$29.99

At first it is funky town in the house.  There is fuzzy chocolate funk on the Lapalu Brouilly 2010.  It fades a bit, but lingers with an under current of tart red fruits, incense, and a band of acidity.  After a few hours, or even better then next day, the funk has blown off completely and there are nice dark tart fruits with a hint of black liquorish.  Definitely better after the funk is history, is the funk the result of Bret?  At this point, this is a day two wine if you have the patience.  I would highly recommend it once the funk blows off as the wine is different before and after.  RECOMMENDED

Marcel Lapierre 2010 Morgon ~$27.99

Pure.  Stones and minerality.  Cherry red fruit, lite, yet hints at a bit of density.  Good bit of acidity and moderate tannins, the finish lingers and is delicious in a word.  Very pure, and young, good now, but this could become I don’t know what.  On day two it is virtually unchanged, yet more complete in some way.  Day three even more of the same, no sign of fading whatsoever.  There is a freshness to the Lapierre wines, perhaps it is due to the absolute minimal amount sulfur?  Whatever it is it works.  More people need to try wine like this.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Clos de la Roilette 2010 Fleurie “Cuvée Tardive” ~$26.00

Rich fresh red fruits with ample spice, a hint of tree bark spice, cherry pit, cocoa, a hint of herbaceousness (stems?), and black liquorish.  Decent acidity and moderate tannins.  There is a Burgundian quality to the Roilette Cuvée Tardive, and the 2010 carries a stem-like green character that is not altogether unpleasant.  One of the most distinctive labels in all of Beaujolais; I guess I am a sucker for the ponies.  RECOMMENDED

 Jean Paul Thévenet 2010 “Vieilles Vignes” Morgon ~$37.00

A hint of earthy furry funk upon opening.  I am not sure I would have ever guessed this is Beaujolais, nor do I think anyone could for that matter.  Might have guessed Languedoc or Northern Rhone out of the gate?   As the funk blows through town the wine turns and changes into something a bit more subtle with notes of tart cherry stone fruit, but a meaty earthy note is still very much there too, and hints of rich cocoa, cinnamon, and bitter chocolate.  On day two the funk has completely gone and this is a ringer for a very good village level wine in a more forceful corner of Burgundy.  Yes, it’s that good friends.  Want to know how transcendent great Cru Beaujolais can be – then this is the real deal.  Wow.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Pierre-Marie Chermette 2009 “Poncié” Fleurie ~$27.00

Fresh plum skin, cherry compote, hints of creamy chocolate spice.  Decent acidity and moderate tannins.  Very approachable and easy to like.  Day two there is a more Burgundian flair here too with a slightly green herbaceous note, but a refined darker fruit component still very much alive and well.  This is really a lovely wine from a top drawer producer.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED